1 Aug

The Importance of Networking in Landing a Job

Posted by John Brandwagt

Canada’s employers have a great demand for Information Technology professionals and engineers. It does not mean hiring offers are automatic because competition is fierce. A person will be up against highly qualified rivals and need a competitive edge. Many times, people are trapped in a traditional mindset when it comes to job hunting. They will rely on responding to want ads and sending out resumes, hoping for the best. That is not very efficient and it can result in lost opportunities. IT and engineering professionals must understand that they must go the extra mile in order to land that perfect job.

Networking is part of the process.


What is Networking actually?

Networking is the practical side of the old adage “it is not what you know but who you know.” A network of contacts are able to alert you to openings that are about to happen and the best case scenario is being advised of a opening before it is advertised.

Networking provides other information such as the type of questions or the format of the interviewing a person can expect. Knowing this can help a person in what might be a stressful interview.

Advertising Your Brand

You can think of networking as a marketing campaign. You are promoting your brand and reaching out to contacts you might consider a personal market. Thanks to the Internet and social media there is a wide range of possibilities allowing you to promote who you are and increase the number of people whom you know.

The Internet provides a wonderful networking Avenue. Used properly, social media can help you spread the word about your qualifications and your brand. Primary channels for networking include:

  • LinkedIn. It is a premier social media platform for professionals. It is more than just a place to put your resume, however. There are groups on LinkedIn you can use to your advantage, including CareerLink Network and Personal Branding Network. You also have many chances to interact and share information with other LinkedIn members. It is no secret that many times a person with a LinkedIn account finds out of a job opening before anyone else.
  • Google+. This platform has numerous communities that are professionally oriented. They have information about jobs and allow you a chance to showcase your expertise. Some of these communities are enormous. For example, the Electrical Engineering community has over 134,000 members and IT Jobs has more than 23,000 members.

There are other social media platforms that might not have the same level of networking opportunity but can allow you to source information as well as advertise your expertise.

  • Twitter. It’s amazing what you can put in 140 characters. The platform allows you to make some comments but also retweet news stories and other professionally oriented material.
  • Facebook. This is a major social media platform and, just as with Twitter, you can post insightful messages and share information.

A warning you must heed is be careful what you post. Social media can be a riot of risqué pictures and you do not want that on your account if you are trying to look for a job. Be as professional as possible.

Sharing is Caring

Any engineering or IT professional whose only objective is to only gain information can be making a mistake. Networking is more than finding contacts; it is becoming a contact yourself people appreciate sharing.

What it means is that you provide leads and information to other people. Your willingness to be a source of knowledge puts you in a favorable light and encourages people to help you in return. You can post about types of engineering jobs or times information technology jobs you know are available, or what are the respective job duties. Your ability to help others is going to pay back benefits when it comes time for you to seek a professional opportunity.

Networking will take time to be effective. You should give serious attention to network activity at least six months before you begin a serious job search. The time spent will pay serious dividends. Canada does have opportunities for ambitious people. It is important to use every possible means for landing a job. Networking is a time proven way to source the ideal position.

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John Brandwagt

John is a Practice Leader at Inteqna. He’s been working in IT Search in Calgary since 1997. He works best with selective job seekers—those who excel at what they do and enjoy their current jobs. Since they don’t have time to look for themselves, he helps them find their dream jobs. From a client perspective, he helps organizations find the talent that will propel their business. John is involved in several of Calgary’s technical user groups and has held board roles in non-profit groups. He is a single dad of four boys who try to beat him at every physical activity from hiking to rugby.

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